Your relationship is fine. Your career is fine. You’re pretty sure your partner’s career is also fine.
But something is lacking that magnetic luminosity you see in certain couples.
As a relationship coach for entrepreneurs, I support couples who are in this place of plateau and are ready for a shift into embodying their professional and relationship potential at the same time.
A friend once asked me, “How do you and your partner discipline yourselves to be so productive when you’re together?”
I said, “Because that’s why we are together.”
We are not in relationship to distract ourselves from our life purpose with relationship drama, but rather to expand into more of who we are meant to be and further our desired missions.
Lately, I’m hearing many couples say, “We both want to be successful and inspired in our career life and passionately in love with each other.”
These partnerships are redefining a “power couple” as: two people who are in their power together. We don’t have to be famous actors or politicians. We are showing up in our lives and owning our power. We are exploring a whole new paradigm of relationship that is the springboard for success in the rest of our lives.
Here are five foundational building blocks for the emerging power couple:
1. We are separately in our power, together. We each have thriving visions.
Both members in a partnership have a passion or career they are actively thriving in and a future they are creating. Thriving doesn’t necessarily imply material wealth—but many times, it’s a byproduct. We each get to define thriving for ourselves. We do not let our partner distract us from thriving in our life’s work, and we are open about our vision and what it means to us.
When it is shared with our partner, passion and creativity that we direct outside the relationship opens the flow to bring freshness back into it. If we are hiding our passion and how much we care about it, or our partner doesn’t feel included, it can feel secretive and have the same effect of feelings of betrayal, just like in cheating.
Being a power couple is having a three pronged vision: mine, yours, and ours.
Many times, there is one weak spot of vision. If the relationship vision is the weak link, the couple won’t stay together when life’s circumstances try to pull them apart. If the relationship vision is strong and there is a party with weak vision, they almost always end up using the relationship as an excuse to hide out.
This subconscious behavior builds resentment that gets projected onto the relationship and the partner for “holding them back.” Major transformation occurs when the vision clears and both parties are empowered in taking action toward their dream.
2. It’s not only that we listen, it’s how we listen. Remember to wear your love goggles.
There is no such thing as a relationship without challenges.
Power couples have a strong skill set to effectively share needs, desires, problems, and boundaries with one another.
Sometimes, these things aren’t easy to hear. For couples who don’t have time to fight, this means we get to strengthen the skill of listening to our partners in a specific way. The biggest time-sucking breakdown I see in communication is in how we listen to each other.
Here’s a relationship coaching tip: How to stop a fight before it happens.
After they are asked or hear something triggering from their partner, the first words I teach in my communication method are: “Thank you for saying that. It was hard for me to hear. I need a minute.” Or: “Thank you for sharing. I’m not ready to respond yet, but I appreciate your vulnerability in asking.”
Then, we sit and take our minute to relax and digest what we just heard, remembering our partner said this because they love us. Underneath it all, our partner wants a better relationship. I call this remembering to wear your love goggles.
When we are busy having an amazing relationship and career, we don’t have space to listen from the “critical yardstick” every time our partner says something we don’t like. We welcome all feedback, knowing it came from love. Maybe we have a request for them to share in a different way, so we ask for what we want instead of telling them they are wrong. For example: “Are you open to trying something next time you have information like this to share with me?”
3. We know what we are teaching and we know what we are learning. Find the balance.
From my perspective, we end up together because we have strengths where our partner has weaknesses and visa versa. We come together to teach one another and we are aware of the lesson we are learning in the relationship. Instead of being critical about our partner’s weaknesses, we can compassionately support them in developing this part of themselves. It may be the piece we are meant to give them. For example, a risk-taker teaches an anchor to be light and free, and the anchor teaches the risk-taker grounding.
When we are frustrated in our relationship, rather then sharing our skill, we try to make the other be more like us. If they cave, and this zeroing out of differences becomes too similar, it has the opposite effect of its intent, and we lose interest in one another.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to end up dating myself. This is where you hear people say, “I don’t know who I was in that relationship.” They lost who they were in relation to the other.
I call it skill-sharing:
When a power couple partnership is created, it’s like one person having twice as many talents. They have kept their differences, and formed an integrated collaboration. It’s a skill-sharing situation, where the individual gifts are transmitted and integrated without disrupting the brilliance of the system they are entering.
4. “We got this babe!” We provide emotional trust and support.
We know who our partner truly is, and when they forget, we remind them.
It’s the unconditional “Mama hanging your ‘cute’ paintings on the wall” kind of love. That said, love is also tough. We also push each other, in a “Dad kicking your ass out the door, still holding on to your snotty tissue, because there’s a game to play,” sort of way. We can learn the unique blend of compassion, admiration, and pragmatic direction our partner needs and offer it to them. The “we” that can be trusted helps us find a whole new world of authentic personal power and confidence in our lives.
Note: if it wants to be hidden, it wants to be loved.
Trust comes from the loyalty of sticking by each other even when it’s difficult. No relationship is without thunder storms. But how do we handle the rain? Do we emotionally turn away from each other, or do we seek shelter together? Maybe we’re in the emotional equivalent of Portland and it’s constantly raining, so we are outside getting wet and laughing about it.
Power couples make a practice of turning toward one another and risking vulnerably when times get tough. This means giving our partner the opportunity to see and hold the most tender parts of our heart.
5. We make a “juicy private life” a practice. Intimacy and fun are important.
We have a private life that’s just as thrilling as our career life. We make a practice of saving a special stock of our creativity and energy for our partner.
For some career or family-minded individuals, our relationship only gets the scraps of the day because we aren’t using the same ingenuity we do at work in our private lives. When we each invest in nourishing the relationship, it becomes its own entity that pays us back exponentially in the form of life force, love, support, and creativity.
Doing it on our own and making our partner into a bystander is a great ego trip, but in the end, most feel unsatisfied personally.
Watch out for sneaky excuses.
An excuse is a decision to blow off what matters for what’s comfortable. Saying we don’t have time, we don’t have energy, and we’re not in the mood are excuses. I worked with a couple who believed they were “too busy” for fun together, so I had them schedule sexy time in the calendar. They stopped allowing the urgent to outweigh the important. We plan our fun time and erotic time around energy levels. We set the devices down and connect.
My partner and I found a solution to our favorite excuse. We realized that by the time night hits, we are not in the mood to have sex, so we agreed to do it spontaneously when the desire hits. It has made our erotic foreplay time more of a consistent happening so we are in the mood more frequently. A sexy look, a caress here, a butt squeeze there. Boom. Always be in foreplay energy. It’s a fabulous flow.
Being that radiating power couple you desire to be is a choice.
In fact, it’s a series of little choices that don’t seem like a big deal. Complacency is death to the power couple. Remember, a thriving relationship is made on the tiny nuances that some flippantly pass over.
Author: Jamie Thompson
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman